Jenny Pantelis at the Digital Ship knowledge management conference
01/05/2002 - Digital Ship
Jenny Pantelis, solutions consultant with UK maritime software company Ulysses Systems, talked about how the Ulysses software can help a shipping company build up a "corporate memory", gathering together useful knowledge from all over the organisation and managing it in a way that people can access it easily.
"It's about utilising a company's resources," she said. "You spend a lot of money to train people to make decisions; we can help keep this knowledge within your company."
The software means that staff can continually share and exchange information, even if they are continually travelling. "Superintendents are always travelling," she said. "They need to have access to each other's information."
The system manages all the information generated and required onboard vessels. "On the vessel side, there's an overload of information," she said. "Seafarers work too hard on their everyday tasks, they do not need to be burdened with more work. If mariners have the knowledge, it should be used again."
"The information has to be filed correctly," she said. "People don't have to know how a filing system works; the software must just be designed to have the information immediately available."
"The most common thing we hear from seafarers is, "we need software that does the job I don't want to do, not software that does my job," she said.
Ulysses places a great deal of emphasis on making sure the software is easy to use. "Software has a bad reputation onboard vessels," she said. "You say you're from a software company and people run away. You get just one chance to show them it's an easy solution and then they'll use it, it will make their life easier."
Some seafarers are more open to using new software than others, she said. "I have found Indian crew are very open to new software. But it can take a bit more persuasion to get more senior people to use the system."